What to do with surf fishing conditions of late? As we transition from the colder winter months into the warming spring ocean temperatures, things are beginning to look up. Consistency was difficult if not impossible for surf fishing anglers along Brevard County’s Space Coast over the prior two weeks. With that being said, beach fishing charters provided a wide array of species to be caught from the shore. Black drum, bluefish, whiting, pompano and Jack crevalle to name a few. Each day presented its own challenges and opportunities, but with persistence, our efforts paid off.
Black drum continue to infiltrate local beaches with fishing near Cocoa Beach and south showing daily catches. Puppy drum were caught fishing with pompano rigs tipped with shrimp and clam. Fishbites in the crab and clam flavor were also a favorite during these times. While the majority of the black drum caught were keeper size, there are a few that don’t make the cut and had to be released. These fish seem to prefer the first trough as that is where we had the most fortune when targeting them.
When in doubt, blast it out! As mentioned previously, a lot of the black drums were caught in the first trough. With that being said, there are a plethora of opportunities when casting further out to the second trough or sandbar. Bluefish in all sizes were a sure-fire bet to bend rods along with Jack crevalle and the occasional pompano. Fresh chunked bait accounted for the majority of keeper bluefish, although lots of bluefish, jacks and pompano were caught with sand fleas, shrimp and Fishbites.
Diversity held true with our daily catches racking up into the double digits on different species. Croakers, catfish, and sharks were also particularly active even though some days they weren’t our intended species, which makes it all the more interesting when one does get a bite while enjoying a day of beach fishing. Not to mention, the shark activity is on an elevated level. Reeling in many catches could be challenging before a shark eats your intended species. One way to alleviate this is to be sure and tighten the drag with a rapid retrieve when necessary to minimize the times of reeling in a cutoff line from a shark.
In conclusion, the waters have warmed to an ideal temperature for pompano and whiting to become a main staple again fishing the surf. Be sure to pay attention to the water clarity for maximizing any opportunities.
Shark fishing charters will also continue to be red hot, as this time of year they’re out in abundance. Bluefish and black drum will still be on tap for the near term until we reach water temperatures that aren’t conducive. All in all, it’s a great time of year to go out and go fishing. So have fun and see what’s out there waiting for you!